During supper recently we were enjoying a crispy-crusted, extra-tasty, rustically-round loaf of Cranberry Orange bread when our son piped up that somewhere he’d found a list of items people won’t shut up about after purchasing. One of those items happened to be Dutch ovens…which is what I had been happily extolling the virtues of as we ate the delicious loaf that had been baked in one.
I’ve been hankering for a long time for a recipe that would produce a perfectly crispy loaf as I had never succeeded in getting such a loaf out of just a regular pan in the oven or in the bread machine. Then, strangely, my Pinterest feed became full of photos of drool-worthy rustic loaves and I began to pine for the Dutch oven that would be necessary for success.
We found one (the only one) at the store and and brought it home, where it sat in the cupboard for at least a week before I
a. became brave enough to attempt something new and
b. remembered to mix up the dough the night before so it could do its thing over hours and hours (because all those rustic loaf recipes seem to involve at least 12 hours of rise time).
The results were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Also amazing was the loaf of basic white bread. (I forgot to slash the top, but you can see in the photo that it just cracked up there all on its own.) We enjoyed the white bread with a bowl of creamy Chicken Gnocchi soup and a slice of cheesecake for our Valentine’s Day supper.
But enough about the bread since I don’t want to be one of those people who can’t seem to stop talking about their Dutch oven and prove that list our son found right.
Here’s a photo of the progress I’ve made on my St. Patrick’s Day table runner. I was only able to work on it on Sunday, so it is progressing slowly. The photo shows one clover pinned down. I now have it partially sewn in place. I may have to work a bit faster in order to have it completed in time for the holiday!